Category: tour

Pennsylvania to Colorado by Train — So Sweet

On Monday I hop on Amtrak in Harrisburg, PA and head to Denver, CO for the Creating Change Conference. I love so many things about taking the train. For one I get so much work done. Monday and Tuesday I will write letters, work on the screenplay for the upcoming Transfigurations film (more about that in a future post), and REHEARSE my newest play, Does This Apocalypse Make Me Look Fat? A Comedy about broken bodies, large and small. I will perform this play on Saturday night at the conference.

Sure a full train uses less fossil fuel than the four plane flights I would have needed to get to Denver and back. But I travel on the ground for multiple reasons, not just because I don’t want to pollute so much. The pace of the train, the opportunity for solitude or society, the views–both majestic and mundane, make for a lovely trip. So much nicer

Poeina Suddarth

Poeina Suddarth

than rushing through airport security then squeezing in a sit for a few hours of dehydrating pressurized air. I know train travel is not perfect. There are long delays at times, especially now with so much crude oil transported by rail. Still train travel works for me (especially when I have a sleeper car for overnight legs.

The other plus is that I will have dinner in Pittsburgh with friend on Monday night, and brunch with another friend in Chicago on Tuesday morning. These are folks I typically would just fly over.

AND I bring my little audio recorder and capture some great sounds and conduct interviews. This fall I interviewed:

  • Singer/songwriter Poeina Suddarth and even sat in on a rolling live concert. You can listen here.
  • Chino Young, a wild fire fighter from the Quinault people on the West Coast. He told me how his village is getting relocated because of sea level rise and how so many of the animals of his youth also getting displaced because of climate change. You can listen here.

Have you ever gone on a long distance train ride? How was it? What did you do during the trip? Any travel pointers?

 

 

Fall Tour–The Apocalypse is Coming!

An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apocálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω meaning ‘un-covering’), translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure of knowledge, i.e., a lifting of the veil or revelation, although this sense did not enter English until the 14th century.[1] In religious contexts it is usually a disclosure of something hidden.    – Wikipedia
Beginning in mid-October starting from Central Pennsylvania I will launch my fall performance tour that will take me by Amtrak train all the way to Vancouver BC. There will be stops in cities on the way there and back, and even as I type this, my booking agents are busy working out the details with dozens of venues. (tour details will be announced in September)
I will present one-person comedies and lively lectures at universities, theaters, conferences, and places of worship. In addition to my popular presentations about gender outlaws in the Bible and my personal story, I have all new material that specifically looks at environmental justice and a honest and hopeful response to our current climate crisis.
The tour will focus mostly on the Pacific Northwest with whistle stops along the way and back. If you want to book a performance, contact Jane or Karina, my amazing booking agents. They are also booking upcoming tours:

Spring 2015 Mid-Atlantic & Southeastern (DC,VA,NC,SC & FL)
September 2015 United Kingdom & Beyond
Fall 2015 Southwest (AZ,TX,NM)
Spring 2016 New England (CT,VT,NH,MA,ME)

Going to the Other Side–Peterson Among British Atheists

Peterson and Zack are back to have a conversation about the intersection of faiths. Peterson is getting ready to head to Europe, where he’ll be speaking and performing before the British Humanist Association. (You’ll also find him at the Greenbelt Festival.) Unsure of how a room full of non-believers will receive him, he turns to Zack, who obviously is prepared to speak on behalf of all atheists. We get into a conversation about discussing religion across “interfaith” spaces, and effective ways to keep the event inclusive. Plus, Zack gets one step closer to winning that toaster.

Have a listen to the Queer and Queerer podcast

Do you want more??? Check out previous episodes of Queer and Queerer where Zack & Peterson discuss everything from gay porn to gardening.

Doin’ It at Home

“It” meaning my perforamnce work. I live in Hartford, CT, but I rarely perform there these days. That will change this week.

After a whirlwind surge through the US (Tue in Seattle, Wed in Miami, Thur in Hartford) I return home. Tomorrow morning at 9:00 am I will be on our local public radio station WNPR for the ‘Where We Live’ program to talk about my Transfigurations play. Scott Turner Schofield will also be featured to discuss his upcoming performances next week in Hartford. The Hartford Advocate did a piece on the two of us–queer performance artists doing transgender related theater (see http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=14514 )

Tomorrow evening I will perform Transfigurations in Hartford, technically a CT premiere after nearly two years of presenting it throughout the US, and in Canada, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Sweden, Malta and South Africa.

I feel excited about presenting it to folks in the city where I live.

PB&J

Perhaps only those raised in the USA understand the alluring comfort of the peanut butter & jelly sandwich. I have friends in the UK turn up their noses in disgust at the mention of a PB&J sandwich (while they smear brown yeasty Marmite on brown bread).

I grew up with PB&J made with grape jelly, Jiffy™ peanut butter (I alternated between smooth and creamy) and grape jelly (which for the Brits is like jam without all the bits & clumps).

Enroute to Portland, OR at the Detroit layover this morning I bought a sandwich at the PB&J counter (Cashew butter on 7-grain brown bread w/ rasberry jam). It seemed the perfect flight food today–sweet, carby, nostalgic)

Puzzled

Last night I performed Transfigurations-Transgressing Gender in the Bible at Imago Dei Metropolitan Community Church in Glen Mills, PA (about 15 miles outside of Philly).

I had a diverse audience of about 45 people — college students, Quakers, straight, bi, trans and lesbian, young and old. I took my time with the piece maintaining a gentle meditative pace.

For the ending when I reveal the identity of the narrator, I had instructed the light tech to dim the lights. Then as the closing music swelled, I asked her to raise the lights to their brigthest intensity. With the music playing, I exited.

Always (up until last night) at this point the audience applauds, I wait 5 seconds then come out to take a bow. Last night I exited and then nothing. No one clapped. They sat quietly as the music played.

I stood back stage puzzled, baffled. Now what do I do? Wait? Go out anyway? And I wondered for a moment, Did they hate it? Did I confuse them? Offend them? Bore them into a coma?

After what felt like 5 minutes, I walked out onto the stage, and the audience erupted into enthusiastic applause, so much so that I had three curtain calls (I normally do two or ony one.)

So what happened? In talking to Kody and others in attendance they said they knew the play ended when I excited.

I felt the silence helped to settle the messages and images–many new and even startling for some. In many ways I felt pleased with the audience sitting in the stillness of that moment. As a performer I wonder if I did something differently this time. If so, what, and can I do it again? The whole thing puzzles and intrigues me.

Any thoughts?

On the Road Once again

After a few weeks of barely leaving the house except for social reasons, I head out today by train to Philadelphia for the beginning of travel that will bring me to Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD and Vancouver, BC (that’s in Canada). After that I am off to Nashville, TN, Denver, CO, Boulder, CO, Colorado Springs, CO and Seattle, WA. You can see my full schedule here.

This weekend I will be in Glen Mills, PA at Imago Dei Metropolitan Community Church about 15 miles out of Philadelphia. Tonight (Fri) I will perform Queer 101—Now I Know My gAy,B,Cs, a play that looks at homophobia, identity and activism through the words and lives of lesbian and gay poets. I last performed this piece in April at Manchester Community College. In it I get to perform my FAVORITE scene of any of have written, the fantasy date between Chad and Federico Garcia Lorca. (Which you can see here.)

Tomorrow (Sat) I will present Transfigurations—Transgressing Gender in the Bible. This play is probably the hardest one I do requiring the most concentration and work as an actor. It also feels like the most spiritual for me. There is one moment of intimacy and vulnerability that that has taken me years to get to. Alex once asked me how writing and performing this play has changed me. It’s a profound question, and I have yet to fully grasp the impact of this piece on my own life. I guess that is what I like about art. As Kurt Vonnegut repeated often towards the end of his life, “Everyone needs to practice art because art enlarges the soul.”

On Tuesday I head to Washington, DC to perform The Re-Education of George W. Bush—No President Left Behind! How exciting to present this piece at the nation’s capital. There is a whole section about Russia with Vlad using an Russian folk pop interpretive dance to seduce Condoleezza Rice to see Russia as foreign enemy number 1. Of course when I premiered the play back in January 2007, Russia seemed much more of an ally than it is today. Vlad’s moves are working! (That and Russian aggression and a return to Cold War politics)

From what I have scheduled thus far this presentation of the Bush play will be my penultimate performance before I retire it. 🙁 I am happy that I won’t have to perform it anymore after the November election, but PLEASE don’t make me have to write a play about McCain/Palin–Bridge to No Where and Beyond! (Goodness! I already have a title) If you live in the US, register to vote.

Have a great weekend! And if you live far from all those places where I will be the next few weeks, check out Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House–the DVD!

Design by Bakke

Christine Bakke works as a graphic designer. You can see her fine work at Beyond Ex-Gay and especially on the ex-gay survivor collage page. She recently updated my promo card which she originally designed in 2006.

You will see that Homo No Mo is no more, well, at least the play is retired (but is available on DVD and will soon be performed live by another queer solo artist!) Instead I now offer a talk about the ex-gay movement: Homo No Mo?!? Orientation, Gender and the Ex-Gay Movement—A Lively Lecture with Performance.

You can see my performance schedule here. Later this month I will perform three of my plays and lead a few workshops that will take me to Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, Wethersfield, CT and Glen Mills, PA.

Click on images for larger view.
Christine, great work!

On the Front Porch Looking Out

I’m sitting on my front porch at my house. It’s suddenly crazy humid and I’m living AC free this summer. I live on a one-way street and someone just zipped along driving in the wrong direction. Wait, she’s getting out. She’s walking towards me. Hold on…

Okay, that was weird. She comes right up to me and introduces herself and starts chatting. I’m like, okay. She tells me all kinds of personal info about her child and the child’s husband and then asks, “So are you going to give me a tour of the place?” I’m like, “Wait, What?” Turns out she is here to see the downstairs apartment (I live in an old Victorian house and the first floor is for rent).

By the way, my landlord loves me because I am never home which saves him a ton of money since utilities are included in my rent. So yeah, feeling very much at home these days never wanting to leave again, well at least until next week.

The fall schedule has really come together nicely with performances in Vancouver, British Columbia, Washington, DC, Nashville, TN, Denver, CO and Seattle, WA. Also this month I will be outside of Philadelphia. A few other gigs are still coming into place. Sadly nothing in Texas yet 🙁 Although I have Paige in Austin who is seriously plugging for me.

I have begun to work on a new play that I am not ready to write much about yet. What I can say is that it will be completely different from anything I have ever done before. Oh, and it will not be a one person play. That’s all you get for now. Also, this fall I will begin working on a book that I’ve been asked to co-author. It’ll be about gay stuff. I’ll let you know more when I have more to say about that.

This fall will see the final performances of The Re-Education of George W. Bush (PLEASE do not make me have to re-write this play so that it is about President John McCain!) The big news is Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible. I just performed it for two audiences with several transgender people in attendance. It’s important for me to hear what they have to say about it and to get their input. All around I have gotten positive feedback both about the scholarship of the Biblical portions and about the portrayal of the trans people in the play. some folks are interested in having come to San Francisco to do it there in 2009.

So back to school for me (I perform at a high school on Tuesday) and soon I can break out the fall sweaters. I do have some wonderful personal news happening, but I will keep that under my hat for now.

Wait, here comes the woman looking at the apartment…

She likes it especially because the landlord is gay. She says that gays are clean and quiet. I’m not sure if I should feel pleased or offended. Maybe a little bit of both.

Okay, if this humidity breaks, I might just do a YouTube video. If you get totally bored this weekend, check out Joe G’s podcast. He doesn’t mention me in it for a change (I think he has been fixating on me lately.) Also, check out the video or podcasts of the amazing Mila & Jayna.

Homeward Bound

Today I leave Seattle and spend a long day traveling home to Hartford. Because of Gustav, the conference I had hoped to attend in New Orleans got canceled. 🙁 The upside is I now get 10 uninterrupted days at home. This has not happened since March.

I cannot begin to write about how special I found the Gender Odyssey Conference.

Gender Odyssey is an international conference focused on the thoughtful exploration of gender. We strive to create an empowering environment where people of all genders can share their experiences and learn from the experiences of others.

Through dialogue, peer-led presentations, and sharing skills and expertise, we work to create broader and evolving language, social support, and life pathways that support all gender identities. By doing so, we hope to strengthen ourselves and develop communities that celebrate all expressions of gender at any age.

I met so many amazing trans men, heard many of their stories, and participated in excellently facilitated workshops. You know when you step into a place that at first seemed foreign with new people and new constructs but suddenly you find yourself in the midst of community? That’s what it has been like.

Last night I had a long and fruitful discussion with Ron, an ex-gay survivor, about the Ex-Gay Survivor Movement and our next steps. He attended the Ex-Gay Survivor Conference we held last year in Irvine, CA and has felt a desire to get more involved with the movement. Now that the summer has ended, I feel able to begin to prepare for our upcoming ex-gay survivor events in Nashville and Denver later this year.

Anthony Venn Brown, an Australian ex-gay survivor, also attended the conference last year. He recently posted a blog entry that consists of a series of questions for ex-gay leaders to consider. You can check them out at his blog: 20 Questions for Ex-Gay Leaders.

I leave the Pacific North West excited that I will return soon. In October I will go to Vancouver, BC and then in November return to Seattle to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance. I’m still hoping to get back to Portland soon to visit Doug and Bruce and the guys at Anawim.

Now that summer is basically over, how is everyone doing?
Okay, I must get ready to board my plane…